1936 Lagonda LG 45
Year of manufacture1936
Number of seats2
From the collection of the late Barry Burnett
1936 Lagonda LG45 T8 Replica Tourer
Registration no. AGA 162
Chassis no. 12017
Having established its reputation by winning the Moscow - St Petersburg Reliability Trial of 1910 with a 30hp six, Lagonda concentrated mainly on the production of light cars before reverting to sporting and luxury models in the mid-1920s with the introduction of the 14/60. This four-cylinder, 2-litre model was joined in 1929 by the first of Lagonda's own sixes - the 3-Litre - but by the mid-1930s the Meadows-engined cars were seen as the way forward. Introduced at the 1933 Olympia Show and based on the preceding ZM 3-Litre model, the M45 deployed Meadows' 4½-litre, twin-plug six to good effect, saloons being capable of reaching 90mph and tourers the 'ton' under favourable conditions.
Shortly after the M45's introduction, The Autocar got its hands on one. "A short run on one of the first of the 4½-Litre Lagonda models, with an open four-seater body, left a vivid impression not only of brilliant acceleration and sheer performance, but of a car delightfully silent and easy running in a way that can be achieved to the fullest extent only by a big-engined machine working well inside its limits."
A team of three specially prepared short-chassis cars (effectively the soon-to-be-announced M45 Rapide) prepared by Lagonda main agents Fox & Nicholls performed creditably at the 1934 RAC Tourist Trophy at Ards, and the following year one of these TT cars driven by John Hindmarsh and Luis Fontes won the Le Mans 24-Hour endurance classic outright.
Under W O Bentley's technical direction the big Lagonda became more refined: the M45's successor - the LG45 - gaining synchromesh gears, flexible engine mounts and centralised chassis lubrication among many other improvements. Endowed with such an impeccable pedigree, the 4½-Litre Lagonda quickly established itself as a favourite among the wealthy sporting motorists of its day.
In its road test published on 10th April 1936, The Autocar declared: "The 4½-Litre has always given a fine performance; in its latest form it provides all the performance that anyone can reasonably require, and at the same time has been silenced, smoothed out and made a much more comfortable car, so that in comparison with the earlier versions it is hardly recognisable on first driving it. It can only be said that the appeal of the car has been considerably widened, for the people who today set great store by noise and a harsh suspension are greatly outnumbered by those to whom refinement in a fast car is far more desirable."
One of only 278 LG45s produced during 1936/37, chassis number '12017 was ordered by main dealers Kevill Davies & March in November 1935 and subsequently shipped, unregistered, to Burton & Tweedy, Lagonda's dealers in Glasgow. The car was purchased new by Mr Alexander Shanks of Falkland, Fife (bill of sale on file). In 1954, the Lagonda was traded in (for a Mark VII Jaguar) by Mr Harry Shanks, son of the original owner.
In the early 1960s the original body was destroyed and the damaged car purchased later in the '60s from a garage in Glasgow. It would appear that no renovation was attempted, as when the car next changed hands again (in October 1986) its purchaser intended it only to serve as a source of spares for another car. Happily, that fate was avoided and '12017' was subsequently fully restored, all the mechanicals being rebuilt and a new tourer body manufactured to 1935 Lagonda T8 pattern in 1990/1993 (see restoration photographs on file). The rebuilt Lagonda was acquired by the late Barry Burnett in 2005 from a Mr Michael Hallowes of Gloucestershire, its owner since December 2002. The Lagonda has been serviced for the sale by Edwards Motorsports (near Bristol).
Highlights of the extensive history file include original Lagonda maintenance invoices; Lagonda Club correspondence; VSCC eligibility document (2003); old/current V5C registration documents; and various old logbooks, expired MoT certificates, and maintenance invoices. A spare engine comes with the car.